Trenchfoot Immersion Foot

a) Definition. This is a cold - wet injury to the feet or hands from prolonged (generally 7 - 10 hours) exposure to water at temperatures above freezing.

b) Causes of Trench foot/Immersion Foot. The major risk factors are wet, cold and immobility.

c) Signs and Symptoms of Trench foot/Immersion Foot.

• The major symptom will be pain. Trench foot is an extremely painful injury.

• Trench foot and frostbite are often very difficult to tell apart just from looking at it. Often they may both be present at the same time. Signs include:

• Red and purple mottled skin.

• Lowered or even absent pulse.

• Trench foot is classified from mild to severe.

d) Prevention of Trench foot/Immersion Foot is aimed simply at preventing cold, wet and immobile feet (or hands).

• Change socks at least once a day. Let your feet dry briefly during the change, and wipe out the inside of the boot. Sock changes may be required more often.

• Exercise. Constant exercising of the feet whenever the body is otherwise immobile will help the blood flow.

e) Treatment of Trench foot/Immersion Foot.

• All cases of trench foot must be evacuated. It cannot be treated effectively in the field.

• While awaiting evacuation:

The feet should be dried, warmed, and elevated.

The pain is often severe, even though the injury may appear mild; it may require medication such as morphine.

• In the rear, the healing of trench foot usually takes at least two months, and may take almost a year. Severe cases may require amputation. Trench foot is not to be taken lightly.


1. Dehydration is a deficit of total body water. Dehydration will compound the problems faced in a survival situation. Dehydration is the second leading cause of all deaths in a survival situation.

a) Symptoms. When dehydrated, the following signs and symptoms will appear:

• Headache and nausea.

• Dizziness and fainting.

• Cramps, both abdominal and extremity.

• Dark urine with a very strong odor.

b) Prevention. Prevention is the key to prevent dehydration. The following are basic guidelines for the prevention of dehydration:

• Always drink water when eating. Water is used and consumed as a part of the digestion process. If you have plenty of food but no water - Do not eat until a source of water can be found.

• Conserve energy. Pace yourself.

• Drink 6-8 quarts of water per day when available. In other words, continually drink through out the day. Don't wait until you are dehydrated.

• Monitor the color of your urine.

• Don't rely on thirst as an indicator.

2. Heat related illnesses. The following illnesses will appear from dehydration:

1. Heat syncope. Heat syncope is feinting due to vaso-dilation from the heat.

2. Heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion occurs when body salt losses and dehydration from sweating are so severe that a person can no longer maintain adequate blood pressure. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke.

a) Symptoms include; headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and fainting.

3. Heat stroke. Heat stroke is a failure of the body's cooling mechanisms that rid the body of excessive heat build up.

a) Signs and symptoms

Symptoms are the same as heat exhaustion . The signs include delirious or coma, pinpoint pupils, flushed skin, sweating may or may not be present.

b) Heat cramps. Heat cramps are painful spasms of skeletal muscle as a result of body salt.

c) All of these illnesses can be detrimental to your survival. Dress properly, rest and adequate water intake can help prevent these illnesses.

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